• Influence of Electromagnetic Fields On Biological Signalling: An Experimental and Theoretical Approach
  • Muehsam, David <1963>


  • BIO/09 Fisiologia


  • The primary goals of this study were to develop a cell-free in vitro assay for the assessment of nonthermal electromagnetic (EMF) bioeffects and to develop theoretical models in accord with current experimental observations. Based upon the hypothesis that EMF effects operate by modulating Ca2+/CaM binding, an in vitro nitric oxide (NO) synthesis assay was developed to assess the effects of a pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) signal used for treatment of postoperative pain and edema. No effects of PRF on NO synthesis were observed. Effects of PRF on Ca2+/CaM binding were also assessed using a Ca2+-selective electrode, also yielding no EMF Ca2+/CaM binding. However, a PRF effect was observed on the interaction of hemoglobin (Hb) with tetrahydrobiopterin, leading to the development of an in vitro Hb deoxygenation assay, showing a reduction in the rate of Hb deoxygenation for exposures to both PRF and a static magnetic field (SMF). Structural studies using pyranine fluorescence, Gd3+ vibronic sideband luminescence and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy were conducted in order to ascertain the mechanism of this EMF effect on Hb. Also, the effect of SMF on Hb oxygen saturation (SO2) was assessed under gas-controlled conditions. These studies showed no definitive changes in protein/solvation structure or SO2 under equilibrium conditions, suggesting the need for real-time instrumentation or other means of observing out-of-equilibrium Hb dynamics. Theoretical models were developed for EMF transduction, effects on ion binding, neuronal spike timing, and dynamics of Hb deoxygenation. The EMF sensitivity and simplicity of the Hb deoxygenation assay suggest a new tool to further establish basic biophysical EMF transduction mechanisms. If an EMF-induced increase in the rate of deoxygenation can be demonstrated in vivo, then enhancement of oxygen delivery may be a new therapeutic method by which clinically relevant EMF-mediated enhancement of growth and repair processes can occur.


  • 2013-09-13


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Muehsam, David (2013) Influence of Electromagnetic Fields On Biological Signalling: An Experimental and Theoretical Approach, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze biomediche: progetto n. 4 "Neurofisiologia" , 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5952.